Striving for Perfection and How to Deal With Envy

Marie Antoinette:
Now here's someone whose life probably looked perfect from the outside...
but we all know how that turned out!


Sarah (aka: Thrifty Decor Chick)

has written a very compelling post

that touches on some often unspoken but important subjects:

Blog Envy


The Elusive Quest for Perfection.

Both subjects provoked questions and thought in my own mind.

I asked myself:

"What is perfection?"

If we gave it any hard thought...

I believe we'd all find that we're trying to live-up to some unrealistic ideal...

put upon us by outside pressure that is not necessarily positive.


Another provoking question...

how to handle that all-too-human emotion of...Envy??

My own response...

one of the tricks I use

whenever envy hits me...

is to convert it...

transform it




Once I understood...

that we are all made with our own special gifts...

this became much easier to do!

In fact,

I once read that we can/should learn something valuable

from each person we meet...

no matter their intellect, education, or profession.


I Confess...

it's taken me decades...

but I now try to look for this lesson

in each encounter I have with another.

My logic is such that...

if I let envy take over...

then I might miss something very Valuable !


As you might guess, Sarah's article is very thought provoking,

and the many comments are insightful as well.

I highly recommend it-- as well as her amazing & artistic blog.


More Frugal Luxuries: Simple Ways to Save Money and Enhance Your Life

Established: 1993

The cultural shift that seems to be occurring is lovely to behold and quite freeing. Frugality is fun! It also holds the (sometimes hidden) power to inspire creativity, knowledge and appreciation for what we have.

Simple Ways to Save Money and Enhance Your Life

All of the following tips were taken from Frugal Luxuries; by Tracey McBride, Bantam Books, NY, 1997
In our house, before we buy anything, we'll always look about to see if we have something else that would do the job just as well. Some of our creative discoveries have been...

  • curtain rods made from copper pipe--left-over from a plumbing repair (also PVC);

  • broken wine glasses became planters in the garden or window box (the broken stems were firmly pushed into the ground, cups planted with herbs);

  • sprouted onions and ginger root transform into fresh chives for use in salads, soups and other recipes (you can use the broken wine glasses as bulb vases -- as mentioned above);

  • Discarded garments became fabric ribbons and gift bags. These are used in lieu of paper for holiday gift-giving (washed and pressed beforehand) and used from year-to-year.

More Ways To Save:

  • Enhance the Ordinary. Serve even the humblest meals attractively. Bean soup with cornbread looks charming when garnished with parsley and the cornbread served on it’s own saucer, with a pat or swirl of honey butter. The same holds true for beverages. Our dinner table often features a pretty glass or silver pitcher filled with ice water, and garnished with a few citrus slices (using what’s in season) or a sprig of mint or scented geranium. (The pitchers bought for a song at yard sales and thrift shops.)

  • Eat by design. Make a weekly or biweekly menu and plan your meals using what you already have in the house. Include leftovers when planning.

  • Buy food in it’s simplest form and steer clear of prepackaged convenience foods. Keep in mind that anytime you buy a food that has been cut, peeled, washed, chopped, diced, sliced, pureed and/or cooked by someone else you will usually be paying an average of 100 percent more. [A quick example that comes to mind is one of those $20 fresh vegetable platters in the produce section of the market—they probably contain less than three pounds of washed (?) cut up celery, carrot sticks, broccoli and cauliflower spears, along with a few ounces of ranch style dressing/dip. For the same money, you could buy the ingredients for less than half the amount (i.e., $10) -- enough to make about five of those platters. ]

  • Take up the art of eating by the seasons. We are regular visitors at our local farmer’s market and farm stands. [This allows us to support growers of local produce, find organic, fresh food, in its season, often at a fraction of the cost you’d spend on the same food at a grocery store or chain market.]

  • Soup! It can be safely assumed that soups are the oldest form of cooked foods on earth. The magic of soup is that it has the ability to transform bits of food (past its prime, but still good) into a nourishing delicious meal.

  • Freeze homemade beans as well as home cooked rice. Most people don’t realize that rice and beans (together or separately) freeze beautifully and will hold up quite nicely in the freezer for up to a year if well wrapped.

  • Make your own, healthier, version of nonstick cook spray using equal parts vegetable oil and lecithin (available at most health food stores) and store in a clean, pump spray bottle. (We like to used cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil.)

  • We recycle interesting wine bottles for a multitude of uses in the kitchen. They hold homemade simple syrups (sugar, water and flavorings) for use in recipes and on pancakes and waffles; in the refrigerator you’ll find a two-quart wine bottle, re-purposed to hold the water that our vegetables have been steamed in—we save this nutritious, flavorful liquid and use it to enhance sauces and soups.

  • If you don’t care to sew, learn to mend. Mending enables you to extend the life of existing garments by repairing any flaws.

  • Before spending any money, try to shop your own wardrobe and put together new outfits from clothes you already possess.

  • If you sew... but don’t want to spend large amounts of money on fabric... consider recycling fabric from old clothing. I have made matching dresses for my daughters and myself from fabric I garnered from a bridesmaid’s dress I found (for $2) at a yard sale

  • Be creative! There is a fallacy circulating that creativity comes from a secret, inner source. I heartily disagree. All creativity needn’t be entirely original. Most creativity is merely a twist of the familiar, a new translation of an old idea. To stimulate your own creativity, read books, blogs, catalogs and magazines. Study paintings, set-backdrops in movies and on television, and spend an afternoon lost in thought. I have been an idea collector for most of my life and I find that by mingling two ideas from diverse sources, I come up with a brand new one. Frugal Luxuries is a prime example of taking the best frugal strategies and mingling them with ideas for luxurious, lovely living. The result is an entirely new way to live—mixing the best of both worlds.


As Always...

We'd Love, love, love to hear Your Simple Ways for Saving Money!!

P.S. Don't forget to enter to WIN a copies of Frugal Luxuries and Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons! (Please see last post for details.)


Attention All Kindred Spirits: Another Frugal Luxuries Book (s) Give-Away

Enter to win by Frugal Luxuries by subscribing to this blog and leaving a comment below (it needn't be long :)!

If you care to share a favorite holiday idea or two, we LOVE LOVE LOVE to read them, as always.

P.S. We're also giving away our second volume, Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons

on our other blog--just click HERE to see how easy it is to enter that one too!


Please Feel free to... enter BOTH contests!!

This was my intention when posting them at the same time (doubles your chances to win!)!!


We will be choosing our winners NEXT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST and announcing them on the 2nd!!

Oh... Just...One more thing...

Please know that you're more than welcome to LINK to this page (or any pages on the blogs)!! We appreciate your sharing, support and kindnesses very much. x0x


Storybook Christmas Ideas

Photo: Storybook Woods

My friend Clarice from the


"Storybook Woods" blog,

was asked by her friend, Nadine, for frugal Christmas gift ideas.

She began browsing her blog for past posts and ideas.

Lucky for us...

Clarice found so many that she put together

this inspiring post !

(Thank you Clarice!)


if you're on the lookout for frugally luxurious gifts...

to make and/or buy

you are going to want to stop by HERE and take a look.

P. S. For even more frugal gift ideas...

you'll want to...

read the comments under the post as well!

Speaking of Comments...

we would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear Your ideas for...

frugal Holiday Gifts!!


"The Pleasures of Homemaking" Book Give Away!!

Photo: The Pleasures of Homemaking

Amazing Manuela is hosting a give-away
at her inspiring blog

The Pleasures of Homemaking

and I am honored that she chose one of my own books to be part of the give-away package!

To enter to win a copy of "Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons" and

Jonnie McCoy's fantastic and encouraging book,

"Miserly Moms"

just pop by and visit Manuela's blog and leave a little comment under the give-away post.

While you're there,

I know you'll want to spend a lot of time browsing through

Manuela's creative and inspiring blog

but beware...

she has so many great ideas that her blog becomes addicting!!

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


Frugal Luxuries
is a registered trademark.


"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

Frugal Luxuries Book I

Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons Book II

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